Four projects have been selected from a field of eight to move into the next stage of the UK government's £1 billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition.
The government's previous attempt to launch a CCS demonstration project ended in failure after the sole remaining competitor pulled out in the final stages over the amount of financial support.
Controversy looks likely to plague this competition as well over the omission of the Don Valley CCS project, which is in line for European Union funding.
But the successful four competitors in the relaunched competition are Shell and SSE's Peterhead project for a 340 MW post-combustion capture retrofit to the existing 1180 MW combined cycle gas turbine power station; Summit Power's 570 MW fully abated coal integrated gasification combined cycle power plant in Grangemouth, in partnership with Petrofac, National Grid and Siemens; Progressive Energy's consortium effort on a pre-combustion coal gasification project on Teesside; and Alstom's 'White Rose' project for an oxyfuel capture system at Drax's proposed new 304 MW fully abated supercritical coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire.
The projects, three of which are also in the running for European Union NER300 funding, will now take part in "intensive" commercial negotiations with the government before a decision on which to take further is made.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the finalists had "really risen to the challenge" set by the competition.
"The projects we have chosen to take forward have all shown that they have the potential to kick-start the creation of a new CCS industry in the UK," he added.
However, he said that the projects now have to demonstrate that they will also deliver value-for-money for taxpayers.
There are also potential complications ahead over possible EU support. While the Teesside, White Rose and Peterhead projects are all in the running, the UK government has only given its official support to the first two with the other on the 'reserve' list.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change also cautioned that support for the projects in the EU competition is "subject to them ultimately being successful in the ongoing UK government competitive process". The statement added that UK officials will keep in close contact with Brussels over the NER300 competition.
For further information:
National Grid and ETI to test the waters off Yorkshire coast for CCS (10-Oct)
UK licences first permanent CO2 storage site in North Sea (19-Jul)
UK government’s £1 billion CCS competition closes for bids (4-Jul)
World’s largest CCS demonstration project opens in Norway (9-May)
31 October 2012